December 14, 2020


Christmas music came early this year. As soon as Halloween was over and November rolled around, I pulled up my Christmas playlists and started playing them through my earbuds. Years past, I was a strict no Christmas music until after Thanksgiving kind of girl, but 2020 called for an exception or two. 

Of course, just like If You Give a Mouse a Cookie, the Christmas music only made me long for the Christmas lights, too. In a world that is just so dark and dreary, I've been longing for the whimsy and joy that comes with Christmas lights. There's something about walking in a neighborhood or driving by houses with red, green, yellow, or multi-colored lights strung on the outside that makes me smile. It's the little things, right? 

I know I'm not alone, because it feels like many other people in my city have the same idea; stringing more lights or making their light display a little bit bigger or brighter this year than years past. And I only know that because my community has a Facebook group with maps for Christmas displays this year to make our lives just a little bit merrier this season. 

I feel pretty safe to say that most all of us are longing for the end of the month to draw nearer. But my desire to pull out the lights a little earlier made me think about why I want Christmas to come sooner. Do I long for it because I'm hoping for the joy of the holiday? Am I longing it because I want 2021 to come a little faster? Or am I longing for it because I'm longing for Jesus, the real reason we celebrate Christmas. 

Those three questions made me sit back and honestly, they kind of felt like a punch to the gut, in the humbling way, so to speak. I haven't been the best at sitting in God's presence this year. I haven't been that great at sitting with patience and with eyes that are actively searching for all the ways He is still at work in 2020. I've been trying to press fast-forward  and have had a really hard time in the paused moments in life, too. Let's just say that this I'm still a work in progress. 

But I say all of that because I think this Christmas is one that will be like none other, and not just because we may be holding it via Zoom (like yours truly!). I think that we're in this season where so many of us clearly see that worldly possessions and the world itself is not perfect, is not our forever home, and will not give us hope and joy that fulfills. As someone who believes in the hope of heaven and is saved by God's grace, I'm desperately clinging to the fact that this is not the end and that there is more to come. And I my hope and prayer is that others would see that in me, too. 

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© IN ITS TIMEMaira Gall